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Daylight Saving Time Leads to Longer Days—and Less Sleep

More than seventy countries observe daylight saving time, when clocks are set one hour ahead to gain an extra hour of sunlight. A new study from the Lighting Research Center at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute says that later hours of sunlight can delay the production of melatonin, a hormone that flows into your brain and makes you sleepy. Researchers studied the sleep logs of sixteen eighth-grade students and found that the delay in melatonin was linked to a sixteen-minute delay in falling asleep and a fifteen-minute reduction in sleep. Those minutes can add up to a larger “sleep debt”and just one night of inadequate sleep can alter your functioning and mood the next day.

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